A man could face many decades in prison after admitting to over $281,000 worth of fraud in Missouri. Some of the ill-gotten loot was spent on gambling and illegal drugs, prosecutors said.
St. Louis, Mo.’s Gateway Arch, pictured above. A man could be sentenced to decades in prison in an upcoming hearing in St. Louis federal court. He gambled with money raised in a fraud scheme, prosecutors said. (Image: Wikipedia)
On Tuesday, Michael Worsham, 33, of St. Louis County, Mo., plead guilty to two counts of wire fraud, seven counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in St. Louis before US District Judge Catherine D. Perry.
When he is sentenced in November, each wire fraud charge could mean up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine. Bank fraud carries up to 30 years and a $1 million fine per charge, according to a statement from Sayler A. Fleming, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Identity theft leads to at least a two-year sentence, she added. It is consecutive to any other sentence.
Also, Worsham must forfeit money and property equal to the losses from his scheme, prosecutors said. The incidents involve ID theft and fraud that cost victims a total of $281,669.
It relates to when Worsham purchased vehicles using stolen identities between October 2019 and November 2021, prosecutors said. He also allegedly took out bank loans in other people’s names. He additionally stole checks, altered them and then they were cashed, prosecutors add.
The vehicles involved include a Mustang, Chevy Avalanche and a Suzuki motorcycle. Worsham also admitted paying someone to use a stolen identity to buy a Honda motorcycle.
In another incident, in May, Kevin Shumpert, 59, of Missouri, who was charged with violently robbing a woman three years ago in the Hollywood Casino St. Louis parking garage, was sentenced to spend nine years in prison, KMOV, a local TV station, reported.
He kicked the victim, punched her in the face, and stole her purse, police said. Among her injuries were bruises, a swollen face, and cuts inside her mouth, the news report added.
He was charged with second-degree robbery for the March 14, 2019 hold-up in the Maryland Heights, Mo. casino.
In March, Shumpert entered a plea in the case under a blind Alford plea, reported KTVI, another local TV station. It means he admits prosecutors have the evidence to prove his guilt, though he does not admit guilt, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office explained in a statement.
In another incident, on Aug. 10, a lifeless body was found in the Missouri River near Missouri’s Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City.
The corpse was first seen by a boater. The body had floated to a sandbar in the river. Local firefighters on two water rescue boats retrieved the body, KCTV, a local TV station, reported.
No word yet on the person’s identity. It is unclear if the death was somehow linked to the nearby casino. Authorities launched an investigation upon the discovery of the corpse.
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